Lapsus Calami (Apr 1891)/Of W. W. (Americanus)

Lapsus Calami by J.K.S.
Sincere Flattery of W. W. (Americanus)

First published as "After Walt Whitman" in The Granta, 31 January 1891, this parody was included without title in the "Sincere Flattery" section of Lapsus Calami as "Of W. W. (Americanus)" (distinguished from "W. W. (Britannicus)", William Wordsworth).

III. Of W. W. (Americanus).

The clear cool note of the cuckoo which has ousted the legitimate nest-holder,
The whistle of the railway guard despatching the train to the inevitable collision,
The maiden's monosyllabic reply to a polysyllabic proposal,
The fundamental note of the last trump, which is presumably D natural;
All of these are sounds to rejoice in, yea to let your very ribs re-echo with:
But better than all of them is the absolutely last chord of the apparently inexhaustible pianoforte player.

Feb. 1891. The Granta.